Discarding meals pointless for Saskatchewan eating places as want for donations grows – Saskatoon

A restaurant that throws away food is like a bank that throws away money.

But for some restaurants in Saskatchewan, the COVID-19 pandemic has put them in precisely that position.

With thousands of layoffs and closings, the novel coronavirus has hit the hospitality industry hard. For a Saskatoon restaurant group, the result is a seemingly useless supply of perishable food.


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“This immediate shutdown – we understand why, but it creates a lot of waste that we can’t do anything with,” Carmen Hamm, co-owner of Taste Restaurant Group, told Global News.

“We make a lot of products ourselves, which means that outside of the context in which we make them, they aren’t really used much.”

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Chopped vegetables, homemade dips, and tapped beer kegs don’t hold up, she said.

The employees of the four restaurants in the group bought groceries in the fridges and the organization froze as much as possible. Much of what’s left cannot go to the Saskatoon grocery bank, which only accepts non-perishable goods.

Deborah Hamp, director of the food bank, said there has been an increase in non-perishable food donations from restaurants.

“It is very much appreciated that all of Saskatoon’s restaurants have been so generous with these donations,” she said.


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But that doesn’t mean that perishable food has to end up in the trash.

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As the financial troubles caused by a pandemic mount, several organizations in Saskatoon are accepting fresh food donations to prepare meals for community members.

Staff at the Friendship Inn, Lighthouse, White Buffalo, and EGADZ all have certified that they accept perishable food donations. At EGADZ, a contact point for young people, the perishable goods are running out.

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“We want to give people healthy food, not just empty carbohydrates,” said EGADZ managing director Don Meikle. “We really want to give them food that will fill them up, that will help their mental health.”

Hamm said this was positive for local gastronomy at a particularly challenging time.

“It’s great news that we have a place to offer our food,” she said.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health authorities warn against all international travel. Return travelers are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days from March 26th if they develop symptoms and to prevent the virus from spreading to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure that those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more serious illness. The people most at risk include older adults and people with severe chronic conditions such as heart, lung, or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact the health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent hand washing and coughing up your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others at home and staying within six feet of other people when you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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